Quinta Studio 1/48 Mi-24V/VP Crocodile Interior 3D Decal Set Review
|Date of Review||August 2020||Manufacturer||Quinta Studio|
|Subject||Mi-24V/VP Crocodile Interior 3D Decal Set||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||QD48026||Media||Resin-Printed Decal|
|Pros||Sharp 3D-printed details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$29.95 w/free shipping in the USA|
I recently became aware of a new hobby company in Russia called Quinta Studio and they are showing off the future of scale modeling with a series of detail parts that are high-resolution 3D-color printed. We recently examined the 3D-printed knobs and switches produced by Anyz in Germany which showcases the impact of 3D printing on our hobby. What's different here is that these are 3D-printed decals that are sized for specific subjects and provide three-dimensional surfaces that cannot be rendered with photo-etched products. Let's take a closer look:.
We recently looked at Zvezda's 1/48 Mi-24V/VP Hind helicopter kit and the lack of surface details inside the cockpit. When I acquired the kit, I saw that Eduard had released a range of detail sets for this kit including color-printed cockpit details. If you are a regular modeler of Soviet/Russian aviation, you'll know that the colors used in Eduard's color-printing process are rarely close to matching the cockpit's colors, whether the turquoise of the Mi-24 (or modern MiGs for that matter), the blue-gray of late Sukhoi cockpits, or even the standard FS 36231 used in modern US cockpits. Yahu produces some magnificent instrument panels complete with shiny instrument glass surfaces where appropriate, but their processes are still mostly two-dimensional. Look at the crispness of the colors and the raised details on these decals!
So how do these work? They are waterslide decals and all you need to do is cut out the part you want to apply before dropping it into water. Quinta Studio advises that these are best applied to pre-painted surfaces for better adhesion, and in this set, most of the decals go onto flat surfaces, so there shouldn't be a problem. They also advise NOT to use decal-setting or softening solution with these detail sets as the chemicals will damage the resin-printed materials. For the more complex surfaces like getting the pilot restraints onto the seats, they advise using a gloss clear like Future or Tamiya X22 on the surface of the parts to act as a supplemental adhesive. You can also use a drop of cyano instead, but that's something I'll have to try myself to be sure.
The printing on these decals is extremely sharp, I can even read the time (12:10). The only other panels I've seen with this degree of clarity are from Yahu, but those are still two-dimensional in surface details and they don't have an Mi-24 set.
You can see in these images the Quinta Studio sheet with the instrument panel decals from Zvezda. When putting those kit decals onto a flat surface, you have all of the detail suitable for a 1/144 scale cockpit, but not for a 1/48 scale cockpit like this one. I pulled out my copy of the Zvezda Hind and pre-painted the cockpit interior with Akan cockpit turquoise. Let's see how these decals/details perform!
Quinta Studio is correct - there is no carrier film extending from the sides of these decals. I cut out the left-sidewall panel for the pilot's cockpit and the decal was ready to go in seconds after immersion into water. I maneuvered the decal into place with a brush and then pushed out the water and absorbed it with a cotton swab. The fit is perfect! You can see in these images that the cockpit turquoise has a bluer tint to it than the Akan paint, but I'm sure there are closer matches out there. The surface details really stand out in three dimensions. I continued adding more decals into the front and rear cockpits until all of the relevant surfaces had their intended parts. I had read in the instructions that these decals prefer a clear coat like Tamiya gloss clear or Future to act as a supplemental adhesive. The main switch panel in the left-rear of the pilot's cockpit had a bend that the decal didn't want to conform to, but I dabbed a bit of Future between that part of the decal and the wall, then pressed the decal into place. It works perfectly. I painted the edges of the other decals with Future and that seems to seal the edges nicely.
Moving to the front and rear instrument panels, I added the two panels to the gunner's console by brushing Future onto the surface before applying the decals. This seemed to work so I repeated the process on the pilot's panel with each of the three subpanels and once again for the moving map overlay.
Note: As I mention above, the instructions say to use Tamiya Gloss Clear or Future under the decals and now I understand why. The decal adhesive might be strong enough for normal decals, but these resin-printed details need a supplemental adhesive. When I repainted the plastic with another coat of turquoise mixed with Flanker light blue to match these parts, one of the panels popped off its location and it was one that I had applied directly and then brushed the edges with Future. I simply hand-brushed Future in the panels location and while still very wet, reapplied the panel. When you apply these parts, the wet Future acts as an adhesive, just like laminating photo-etched parts to a flat surface using Future.
This cockpit detail set (which is hard to say for a set of decals) really does add realism to the model, and considering that the Zvezda cockpits have baby-butt smooth surfaces, this set is the perfect remedy. The only thing I wish Quinta Studio would do is recommend a specific brand and color of hobby paint that matches the turquoise they used in their printing processes. Otherwise this is by far the easiest time I've had detailing a complex cockpit like that of the Mi-24. This set also includes crew restraints as well, so when the seats get painted, that's another enhancement that won't have to compromise with photo-etch.
I am going to be doing more projects with these details (decals) as I'm hooked!
The good news is that HobbyZone USA stocks this set.
My sincere thanks to Quinta Studio for this review sample!